Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[12 October, 1643.]
The Fellowship shall be a Corporation. Power to levie moneys.; None shall trade but such as are free of that Corporation.; What Fine shall be paid for a Freedome.; Power to imprison and give Oath.; Rights by Acts of Parliament, and ancient Charters saved.; How long this Ordinance shall continue.
For the better encouragement and supportation of the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers of England, which hath been found very serviceable and profitable unto this State; and for the better Government and Regulation of Trade, especially that ancient and great Trade of Cloathing, whereby the same will be much advanced to the common good and benefit of the People: The Lords and Commons in Parliament do Ordain, That the said Fellowship shall continue and be a Corporation, and shall have power to levy Moneys on the Members of their Corporation, and their goods, for their necessary charge, and maintenance of their Government; and that no person shall Trade into those Parts limited by their Incorporation, but such as are Free of that Corporation, upon forfeiture of their Goods. Provided, That the said Fellowship shall not exclude any person from his Freedome and admission into the said Fellowship, which shall desire it by way of Redemption, if such person by their custome be capable thereof, and hath been bred a Merchant, and shall pay One hundred pounds for the same, if he be Free, and an Inhabitant of the City of London, and Trade from that Port; or Fifty pounds, if he be not Free, and no Inhabitant of the said City and Trade not from thence: And that the said Fellowship shall have power to imprison Members of their Company in matters of Government, and to give such an Oath or Oathes to them, as shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament. Provided, that all Rights confirmed by Act of Parliament, or ancient Charters, shall be hereby saved. And the said Lords and Commons do further Ordain, That with all convenient expedition a Bill shall be prepared in order to an Act of Parliament to be passed in this present Parliament, for the further setling and full confirming of the Priviledges to the said Fellowship, with such other Clauses and Provisions as shall be found expedient by both Houses of Parliament. This Ordinance to remain in full force, until a Bill or Act shall be prepared and passed according to the intent and true meaning of this Ordinance. And it is Ordered, That this Ordinance be forthwith Printed and published that all persons concerned therein may take notice thereof, as appertaineth.